My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I have always been fascinated by TEOTWAWKI – The End of the World as We Know It. The Stand, by Stephen King, remains one of my top-ten-forever works of fiction. So, I was all excited when I saw that Lissa Bryan was bringing out a book of this nature.
I was absolutely not disappointed.
We meet Carly at what is the nadir of her life, when she and her “puppy” Sam are hungry in Juneau, Alaska, after a vicious viral disease has wiped out almost everyone. Carly is a determined – I might even say dogged – optimist, though, and she keeps hoping for the return of civilization. Aside from being naïve about how to survive in a post-TEOTWAWKI world, she’s smart, sentimental, and compassionate. Not perfect, not by any means, but she’s got a capacity to care about people and animals that is beautiful. Justin refers to her as the Pied Piper of the Apocalypse. (And you can bet I highlighted that in my Kindled ARC of this book.)
Justin who? Justin is the hero in this story, and a wonderful hero he is. Former Special Ops (you have to read about it to understand), he is decidedly the best person in the depopulated world to find and support Carly in the vast new world they find together. He’s not perfect, either, but his imperfections are utterly understandable and are strengths as the story carries on.
Together, they bring hope to many. And it’s lovely.
Not to spoil anything, but really, they’re a wonderful couple and I hope to see more of them.
Lissa Bryan’s storytelling kept me at this story, wondering about shoes dropping and new horrors and the possibilities of other plots that tickle my imagination. She let us in to the minds of both her protagonists, enough so that we were allowed to understand them without being kept in the dark, and we get a more well-rounded idea of the post-Infection world in which they find themselves. Bryan’s prose is descriptive with enough details to inform but not overwhelm, and her characterizations are solid.
I do hope that, here at The End of All Things we see a light to a new beginning. I’ll read it when it comes.
Disclaimer: I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House in exchange for an honest review.